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The Last Lecture

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4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  244,573 Ratings  ·  14,872 Reviews
Based on the extraordinary final lecture by Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch, given after he discovered he had pancreatic cancer, this moving book goes beyond the now-famous lecture to inspire readers to live each day with purpose and joy. Photos of Randy and his family and friends are included.
Hardcover, First edition, 206 pages
Published April 8th 2008 by Hyperion (first published 2008)
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Mary Kaitlin Sims He passed away in 2008 at 47 years old. Couldn't agree more. What an inspirational read!
Niquole Abram His driving force was he wanted his children to know who their father was. He wanted to pass on all of the nuggets of wisdom he collected from his own…moreHis driving force was he wanted his children to know who their father was. He wanted to pass on all of the nuggets of wisdom he collected from his own father and his own experiences. Towards the end of the book he talks about how the fact his children will grow up with their father, he focuses on what they will lose instead of what he will lose. I think he bares his soul in this as a way of comforting his children when they are old enough to know what's really going on and to show them just how much he loved him. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Andrew
Jul 09, 2008 Andrew rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone, just don't read it too quickly
Recommended to Andrew by: YouTube
I sat down to write my review of “The Last Lecture” on Friday July 25th. Before I started to write, I decided to check Randy Pausch's website for any updates on his condition. He had died that morning at the age of 47. The book, and the lecture itself, now take on new meaning.

For those who aren't aware, Randy Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. The university has a tradition of inviting professors to give a lecture where they pretend that it is their last chanc
...more
Todd
Jun 02, 2008 Todd rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: vacuous white upper middle class people
My review of this book will not be popular, but I must be honest. I'm halfway through this book, and although I appreciate a positive voice, it's really not that interesting or helpful. If I could sum up this book in three words, they would be "yay for me". The author tells us how great his childhood was, then that he accomplished all his childhood dreams, got the girl of his dreams...etc etc etc. It's really not a book how to better your own life, as much as it him telling us how great his life ...more
Books Ring Mah Bell
Jun 05, 2008 Books Ring Mah Bell rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fans of American Idol
Recommended to Books Ring Mah Bell by: The whole world
Shelves: poop, memo-auto-bio
While this man has a 5-star attitude, I can only give the book two.

yeah, everyone is raving about this guy...
Five star attitude... the author gets diagnosed with terminal cancer. He refers to this as "an engineering problem" (understated and true) has 3-6 months to live, tops. Has 3 small children (ages 6 and under)who will never know him. he was scheduled to give a "last lecture", ya know, how to live your life as if you were dying... (irony) and he writes it in such a way that it's a celebra
...more
Heidi The Hippie Librarian
Apr 15, 2017 Heidi The Hippie Librarian rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs, non-fiction
The Last Lecture is Randy Pausch's last hurrah- a final note to the world and his family about how to live, love and let go. It is beautiful.

I think that we're all here for a reason and have stories to tell. How fortunate for us all that Randy had the time and ability to tell his particular story.

I recommend this book for fans of memoirs, computer engineering and heart-felt narratives. I listened to the audiobook and it was excellent.

Then, once I finished the book, I looked up Randy's actual las
...more
Beth F.
Aug 25, 2008 Beth F. rated it really liked it
Recommended to Beth F. by: Katie
I think this was one of those books where knowing the criticisms before starting it ultimately upped my enjoyment factor.

Randy Pausch, the author, was one of those people who became wildly popular in 2008 thanks to the internet. He was a popular professor at Carnegie Mellon and was invited to give a “last lecture”, a tradition of sorts where a professor is urged to give a specially prepared lecture as though it were the last s/he were to ever give. And so they are encouraged to break down all t
...more
Kimberly
Apr 11, 2008 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
I was first "introduced" to Mr. Pausch while watching the Oprah show in the fall. My father in law was in the hospital at the time, fighting melanoma that had metastacized to his lungs. Simply stated, I stopped folding clothes and cried so hard during that show. Soon after, the emails began to circulate with links to the last lecture on utube and I watched every link I got and cried even more. I read all the internet articles and was touched every time. When I saw the book was coming out, I jump ...more
William T.
Jan 18, 2009 William T. rated it did not like it
No doubt Randy Pausch was a nice guy. But this book is smarmy, self-indulgent crap--which is ok given the circumstances under which he gave this lecture. But it is not worth reading.

This is typical 1980's individualistic, unreflective advise on how to succeed in life. Alas, Professor Pausch does not realize that he was born white, male, middle income, in exactly the time in the 20th century where he could avoid confronting WWI, WWII, the depression, Korea, Vietnam, urban riots of the 1960's, the
...more
Lindsay Coppens
Jun 29, 2008 Lindsay Coppens rated it it was ok
It's hard to criticize a dying man. I think this is a great book for his wife, family, children, and friends to read, and although it has some good life lessons that are not revolutionary but do need repeating from time to time, this book is not well written. At points while I was reading I found myself actually disliking Pausch and his way of presenting himself, but then I realized that this would perhaps make me a horrible person. Maybe I am. I very much prefer Tuesdays With Morrie for a simil ...more
Cara
Jun 20, 2009 Cara rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cara by: Mom
THIS BOOK BLEW ME AWAY!!! Yeah I really won't be able to give a coherent review.

Suffice to say that this is human beings at their best. You might not agree with all of Randy's lessons, but he tells you from the get go that this is what he thinks and he did it all for his kids.

Towards the end I cried because there really isn't another word to describe the whole thing but genuine. The book was published when he was still alive, but I read it when he had already passed away so it was even more hear
...more
Amir
May 08, 2016 Amir rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
کتاب فوق العاده ای بود، مجموعه آخرین سخنرانی رندی پاوش استاد دانشگاه کارنگی ملون که در سن 47 سالگی متوجه می شه که یک سرطان کشنده داره و 6 ماهی رو بیشتر زنده نیست. آخرین سخنرانی مجموعه حرفه های او هست که در کنفرانسی در دانشگاه بیان می کنه که یک مجموعه ی عالی از خرد، دانش، و تجربه هست که در اختیار همه قرار می ده

رندی پاوش با خودش میگه خیلی ناراحت کننده هست که نمی تونم پیش بچه هام باشم و در زنگی هدایتشون کنم، به همین خاطر مطالب آخرین سخنرانیش رو طوری تهیه می کنه که مجموعه کاملی باشه از درس ها و اصول
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K.D. Absolutely
I am writing this review with barely 4 hours to go before 2013. I picked this book up to inspire me to face another year. I learned about this book when I took our company-mandated safety leadership training last month. Our corporate safety manager talked highly of this as he related Randy Pausch's very personal experience with what one person's ultimate objective in life, i.e., what should really matter to each of us in the training room.

For those who are not familiar with this 2008 bestselling
...more
Lyn
Jul 18, 2011 Lyn rated it really liked it
The Last Lecture, literally, for a professor with a terminal illness. Taken from a speech that he wanted to impart to his students, family, friends, - really everyone as he came to grips with his condition.

This is about as emotionally charged and spiritually powerful as you may expect, the author is exploring territory that we all face, but he was at the edge of existence when he put this together. Randy Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had months to live, from this perspective he
...more
Mickey
May 21, 2008 Mickey rated it did not like it
I couldn't bring myself to finish this book. Perhaps the author's buildup to the ultimate last lecture raised my expectations too high, but I found myself working hard to try to maintain interest as I plowed through a series of anecdotes and trite observations. I suspect I would have enjoyed the book more if he had simply written about his work at the university, but I did not feel a connection to the author, despite his obvious courage in the face of a terminal illness.
I suppose a reader can't
...more
Mohammed Alsaleh
Apr 04, 2011 Mohammed Alsaleh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: القمة
لا أقول أن " راندي بوتش " قد أحسن الوصف أجمل من باولو كويلو في " فيرونيكا تقرر الموت " لكنه كتب لا كروائي " كحال باولو " بل كحال إنسان يعيش الواقع .. في لحظاته الأخيرة !
حين قرأت وصية بقراءة كتاب المحاضرة الأخيرة .. بادرت للشراء لثقتي بذوق من وصاني باقتنائه .. والحق أنني وجدته أجمل مما توقعت بمراحل !
راندي بوتش .. إنسان يعيش أيامه الأخيرة وهو محاضر جامعي في جامعة كارنيجي ميلون أصيب بمرض سرطان البنكرياس وأخبر أنه لن يعيش أكثر من ستة أشهر بالكثير .. دُعي لإلقاء محاضرة " أخيرة " وأعد لها كما لم يعد ل
...more
Mark
Mar 28, 2008 Mark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
I'm appending this with the review I wrote for my paper: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08097/...

I read this because I am doing continuing coverage on the author, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who is dying of pancreatic cancer and who gave a last lecture that has been viewed on the Web by more than 6 million folks.

For what it is -- essentially an expanded version of the lecture about his life story and his advice on how to live a fulfilling life which can all be read in a sitting -- it
...more
Leslie Jem
Apr 03, 2008 Leslie Jem rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: super meek high school graduate
It may be that I am particularly sensitive to certain topics, but I didn't enjoy this book. I realize that the author is trying to cram all that he has found to be important in life in 200 pages, which is automatically going to make it seem preachy. Maybe it's that I didn't like what he was preaching. He spent too much time encouraging people to scale brick walls on the paths to their dreams. Then he started describing other people as brick walls and he lost me. Sometimes no means no, and bounda ...more
Corinne
Sep 19, 2015 Corinne rated it really liked it
This book grew out of the desperation of a computer professor, when he discovered that he had terminal cancer, and he wanted absolutely to leave a manual of guidance for his little kids. It's this fact about this book that drew me, because, in terms of parental guidance, I haven't been one of the lucky ones.

I was surprised by the vividness and vivacity of the writing. The pages kept turning as if by themselves, and I was disappointed that the book ran out so soon.

Authentic and practical wisdoms
...more
Tifnie
Jul 19, 2008 Tifnie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Tifnie by: Juli Platzer
Shelves: non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Khalid
Aug 29, 2008 Khalid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed watching his last lecture, which was extremely touching, but reading this book was even more touching. I actually teared up numerous times while reading it.

As far as I'm concerned, this guy is a hero. He was happy, and yet he achieved so much. He was diagnosed with cancer, and instead of just letting it put him down, it was a motive for him to leave this last lecture, a lasting legacy.

I do recommend that everyone read this book.
Scot
Feb 19, 2009 Scot rated it it was ok
I will probably burn in hell--well, okay, suffer a few extra millenia in purgatory, maybe--for only giving this book two stars. It's one of the top gift books of 2008, if you didn't yet view "The Last Lecture" on YouTube you probably heard about it via Oprah or friends or co-workers: a talented computer science prof at Carnegie Mellon with three adorable little toddlers and a loving wife learns he has pancreatic cancer and about six months to live, so he gives a farewell lecture to his students, ...more
Fotooh Jarkas
"so many will get the chance to say goodbye,BUT It's never too late to think of the value of your life " Randy was trying to tell us that , and he did it in a great way !

It was more than a lecture ! and it's not fair to write a review about this great work .. Actually it was an every day's lecture ..
I was completely in , I cried with him and laughed with him, I was amazed by his courage, faith and pride , I liked how he decided to help his wife in raising the kids after his death .
he was a gre
...more
tee
Dec 04, 2008 tee rated it it was ok
Shelves: borrowed
A little bit cocky, irritating and smug but an easy read. Quite possibly overhyped.

I kind of felt like he presented his life lessons as if they were grand revelations, unheard of and earth shattering ... but I found myself struggling to see the sense in some of them. Keep $200 in my wallet? With the frequency that I lose my purse and my inability to even keep a $200 float in my bank account ... not likely to happen.

Besides, he didn't really follow through with the whole childhood dreams thing.
...more
Ron
Aug 19, 2016 Ron rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: audio, auto-bio
“Are you a Tigger or an Eyore?”

― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
Brian
Aug 03, 2008 Brian rated it really liked it
I arrived late to the parade -- sadly, the first I ever heard of Randy Pausch was when his obit ran on CNN.com late last month. The bulk of the story centered around the "last lecture" that made him famous well beyond the halls of the universities where he taught and in the scientific realm.

A few nights later, a guy who took the seat next to me on the train home was reading the book Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow put out based off his lecture. I gave it a few glances out of the corner of my eye and d
...more
Hesam
Nov 27, 2015 Hesam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
دکتر رندی پوش استاد برجسته ی علوم کامپیوتر دانشگاه کارنگی ملون ، زمانی که متوجه می شود به سرطان لوزالمعده -که از بدترین و کشنده ترین انواع سرطان است- مبتلا شده و تنها چند ماه به پایان زندگی اش باقی مانده. تصمیم میگیره سخنرانی ای ترتیب بده تا به قول خودش حرف ها و درس های زندگی رو که قرار بود طی سال ها به 3 فرزند خردسالش بیاموزد و چون دیگر پدر و مادرها به همراه جی همسرش بزرگش شدنشان را به نظاره بنشیند در این فرصت اندک در شیشه ای بگذارد تا شاید روزی از دل اقیانوس زندگی در ساحل آرامش به دست فرزندانش ...more
Linda
Oct 14, 2008 Linda rated it liked it
Shelves: 2-non-fiction
This was a great book with a lot of poignant insights. The best part about it, I feel, is that it led me to think about my own life and the things I value and have experienced. And most of all, it gives inspiration to live life more fully.
Miquel Reina
Nov 24, 2014 Miquel Reina rated it it was amazing
The last lecture is one of those books that has touched something inside me for life. I was walking through a bookstore and I found the book by chance. The synopsis was interesting and promising: a university professor gives his final lecture to his students summarizing what he has learned during his career. But when I start reading the first pages, I realized that the book was not just a compendium of life experiences, but rather a dose of pure life. Randy's story is the story of a man who in h ...more
ابتسام المقرن
من أي نوع هي أسرتك؟
قد يتبادر هذا السؤال على ذهنك بعد قراءة كتاب “المحاضرة الأخيرة” لـ راندي بوتش، البروفيسور في علوم الحاسب والبرمجة في جامعة كارنيجي ميلون الذي رحل عن عالمنا في يوليو 2008 بعد إصابته بسرطان البنكرياس الذي انتشر في جسمه وأمهله أشهراً قليلة ليحدثنا فيها عن حياته وطفولته وأحلام طفولته وإنجازاته الكثيرة التي حققها في فترة زمنية بسيطة!

راندي بوتش الذي كانت أحلام طفولته أهم ما يملك، وهو بذلك يشكر والديه الذين ساعداه على أن يحلم! كيف استطاع أهل راندي بوتش جعل ابنهم يحلم ويتمكن من تحقيق
...more
Rehab Ali
Jan 29, 2011 Rehab Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
لأكون صريحة لم أتوقع أن يأثر فيَّ هذا الكتاب جداً ، ربما لأنني أظن أني متفائلة كفاية لأرى الجانب الممتلئ من الكأس لكن هذا الكتاب اخترق سقف توقعاتي ، قد لا تعنينا جميعاً أحلام راندي ولكن قوته وتفائله وعطاءه وثقته بنفسه وتحديه للمرض بتفائله الواقعي وتقبله للواقع هي مايدعونا لنندهش كيف لشخص مثله أن يختصر حياته بين دفتّي كتاب ومحاضرة لا تتجاوز الساعة ، كيف له أن يلقي الكلمة الأخيرة لكل من أثر بحياته وشاركه الطريق ويودعهم بامتنان ، بكيت في الصفحات الموجهة لأبناءه وزوجته لأنه كان صادقاً جداً ولم يكن ي ...more
Mia Prasetya
Kamis kemarin, saya iseng pergi ke gramedia, niat hati sih mau beli Rolling Stone ama M2 edisi terbaru, sekalian cuci mata liat2 buku baru.
Cara diet menurut golongan darah. Gak menarik…
The secret bla bla bla. Kebanyakan rahasia, males ah…
The last lecture, pesan terakhir pengidap kanker ganas yang mencuri perhatian dunia. Buku apa? Kaya pernah tau bapak ini…
Sepertinya menarik, tergeraklah saya untuk mengambil buku ini, kebetulan ada satu buku yang terbuka bungkusnya lalu saya baca kata pengantarn
...more
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I am flattered and embarassed by all the recent attention to my "Last Lecture." I am told that, including abridged versions, over six million people have viewed the lecture online. The lecture really was for my kids, but if others are finding value in it, that is wonderful. But rest assured; I'm hardly unique. Send your kids to Carnegie Mellon and the other professors here will teach them valuable ...more
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“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” 2588 likes
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” 1764 likes
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